Grass Pass
A gorgeous hilly hike in the Highwood Valley

Click to view full map

The Grass Pass hike is a straightforward ascent up the south slope on the west edge of the Bull Creek Hills.
The trail is unofficial, but the route is clear.
The trail starts off moderate, then steadily ascends the hillside, first through the trees, then bursting into open meadows to the pass.
While the pass is not overly high, treeline is so low in the Highwood, that the pass enjoys great views.

Starting the hike in the late-spring mud.

Passing through stands of trees halfway up.

The last of the trees.

Hiking up to the pass.

The grassy hillside to the east.

We stopped at the pass for lunch, and some of the group decided to ascend the slope to the top of the short hill east of the pass.
One can continue up beyond that hill over a series of higher ones to make a 10km horseshoe around the Bull Creek Hills.

The group heading up the hillside.

Last bump to the top of this hill.

Looking down the ridgeline - this can also be walked.

View back to the pass.

A pano from the top of the hill, down to the pass and trails on both sides.

After lunch, we hiked through the pass to a lookout north to Holy Cross Mountain and beyond.
While you could hike for days in this direction, there's no reason for a day hiker to descend, but it's worth hiking 200m or so for the view.

Looking north of the pass.

Three-Flowered Avens and other flowers dot the hillside

A multitude of wildflowers ring the trail

Below this spur trail, the actual trail can be seen descending the pass.

The Highwood is also well-used by equestrians, and we saw two groups of riders on our day, who continued beyond our area.

Horses at the top of the hill.

A pair of riders head east to the Boundary Pine.

If you're not continuing over the hills, the return trip takes the same route - and an enjoyable route it is!

Starting back down from the pass.

Hiking in the last of the meadow.

The groups stays to the sides of the trail to avoid turning the hike into a slip&slide.

The creek takes over the trail in a few places, necessitating minor crossings.

Photos taken by Rachel

Back to Photos on Foot Index
Back to Photos Index